Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government's record investment in the defence industry is delivering Australian jobs and opportunities for small business and ensuring that our Defence Force is well equipped?
I thank the member for Dawson for his question and his strong passion for creating jobs and opportunities in the Australian defence industry, especially in northern Queensland. The Morrison government is on the side of Australians who work in our defence industry, like those whom the member for Dawson and I recently met in Townsville when we visited Cubic Defence Australia along with the member for Herbert. Cubic Defence provided the essential training, support and technologies used by all nations participating in the Talisman Sabre exercise. Cubic continues to play a fundamental role in the defence industry by providing realistic simulation training to the ADF. Cubic is also a major employer of defence veterans. I take this opportunity to congratulate them on that. I know this is an issue that the member for Herbert is also particularly passionate about. It is businesses like Cubic that the Morrison government is backing every day, because they are the backbone of the Australian economy.
Just last night I, together with the Minister for Defence, hosted an event for small businesses in the defence industry and outlined our plan to deliver more opportunities and more jobs for them. Tonight I have the pleasure of addressing the Defence Industry Awards, where I will be able to recognise the outstanding achievements of small businesses in our Australian defence industry. These small businesses play a crucial role in delivering the capability that our men and women in uniform rely upon each and every day.
The Morrison government is on the side of Australian workers in the defence industry, unlike those opposite. Under Labor the defence budget was cut by $18 billion. During the time that Labor occupied these benches, those long, dark six years—
Opposition members interjecting—
I have to say that the minister needs to pause. There is a problem with the area where she is now going. If members can cease interjecting I will address the area. She is now going to alternative policies but, unfortunately for her, this question did not have that phrase, 'Are there any alternative policies?' so I can't permit her do that, because she is seeking to answer a question she wasn't asked.
This government is very committed to creating thousands of jobs with our $200 billion defence white paper. While those opposite were sitting on this side they lost thousands of Australian jobs. We have a plan for the future. They had no plan for the future. The Morrison government is on track to secure thousands of future jobs in the Australian defence industry and, just as importantly, to ensure our nation's defence capability.